What's in a Word | All Blogs


Top-notch teaser

By Debra Dobbins

 

The teaser at the top of today’s paper piques my interest for two reasons: “Muscle ma’ams” is alliterative, and it’s a delightful twist on the word muscleman.

Alliteration is a poetic device in which two or more words start with the same letter. It’s a safe bet that we could pick up any newspaper in the United States on any given day and find alliteration in at least one headline. Headline writers Absolutely Adore Alliteration.

“Muscle ma’ams” sounds almost the same as muscleman. It takes someone Extraordinarily Excellent in English (OK, I’ll stop now) to turn one word into two with nearly the same sound but with a perfect new meaning.

I don’t know who wrote this teaser. I do know that I would never kick sand into this writer’s face for fear of retaliation. He or she clearly knows the power and strength of a well-chosen word.

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